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Broken Pendent Light Fitting When Changing Bulb

Postby mrwrighty » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:29 pm

A Couple of questions.

My mother-in-law broken the lower part of a pendent light fitting when fitting a new bulb. It separated above the section holding the bayonet and exposed the brass screw connectors for the wiring to the bulb holder. She asked me to look at it and my feeling was that the plastic had cooked and gone brittle. When I looked at the bulb it was 100w in a 6" pendent fitting which I think it way over the top. I believe these fitting are limited to 60w or even 40w. The white shroud was also going brown at the edges a sure sign of excessive heat. There was no light shade fitted.

She has asked me if I can replace it. I am a competent DIY'er having updated and replaced sockets and light switches at home over the years all basic stuff, but I believe in this instance because it is not my property I cannot replace this pendent for her. I'm unclear on the laws regarding this and obviously 3rd party liability should a problem occur. The flat is old and the wiring not good, she also has the old fused consumer unit which I have suggested she get replaced on many an occasions.

Irrespective of the ability to do the job, I'm assuming I can't because of the legalities of it all.

I have already recommended she use a suitable LED bulb when the pendent is replaced.
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Postby ericmark » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:57 am

Part P or other laws vary according to where you live, Wales and England have different rules, Wales in stricter however they do permit replacing parts.

The example in the Welsh version is you can change a socket in a kitchen, but not fit a new one without paying council £100 plus vat to be allowed, where it gets silly is an extension lead bought ready made you can clip the cable to wall to keep it clear of counter and screw the socket to wall, as it is pre-made, but make your lead and OK to leave it loose but not to fix it to the wall.

England repealed those daft rules, but they have not been repealed in Wales, although I would suspect no one would really pay £100 plus vat to knock in a few cable clips, which make it fixed.

So I don't think anyone who be really pedantic enough to claim you can't change the lamp holder. So in real terms you can do any electrical work you want as long as it does not go wrong. As unless it goes wrong there is no one to catch you.

As far as going wrong, one can't really work out what courts will say, in one famous death, the guys who made the mistakes were not found guilty, it was the foreman who had not even been to site who was found guilty.

So if I make a mistake which kills some one, because I am an electrician the court will likely find me guilty, but if you make the same mistake likely you will get away with it. However idea is not to make mistakes.

We should always inspect and test, however if you followed the IET/BSi rules book you would never DIY any electrical work as the test equipment costs so much. And that rule book is not law.

Well for an electrician it is, because he is a member of a scheme to allow him to self certify his work, and he has to agree to follow BS7671 so he will be breaking his agreement with his scheme provider if he does not follow the rules.

I can see your problem, when ever I do work for my father-in-law I seem to get a shock, my own house all RCD protected, and same with mothers, when mother wanted a heavy chandelier I used a plug ceiling rose so I don't need to work on ladders holding up a lamp and connecting it, but father-in-law does not believe in making it easy or safe.
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Postby Mr White » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:40 am

It's a pendant lamp holder, what is the problem with you changing it? Its not as if you are going to re-wire the house is it?
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Postby mrwrighty » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:12 am

Thanks for the reply guys. Mr White, yes it is just a pendent, but being a DIY'er does not excuse ignorance of the law and I wanted that clarified. I know Part P rules, some of which are stupid and designed to reel in the incompetent ones rather than those that take time to do the job properly.

I could just change the bulb holder at the bottom of the pendent that would the easiest to do certainly and because of the age of the flat and the rose itself am reluctant to disturb too much and create more work.

Thanks for the heads up.
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